FILIPINO pool heroes led by Efren `Bata’ Reyes and Francisco `Django’ Bustamante got off to a blazing start after posting back-to-back victories in the 37th Annual US Open at the Holiday Inn Virginia Beach in Virginia.
Reyes, the former world 9-ball and 8-ball champion, defeated George McLanahan, 11-1, and Bobby Petroceli, 11-0, to set up an explosive showdown with Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann in the next round.
Bustamante, also a one-time world 9-ball title holder, ripped Bill Dugan, 11-2, and Jerome Rockwell, 11-1, to arrange a duel with Finland’s Mika Immonen next.
Other Filipino players who shared the limelight on opening day include Dennis Orcollo, Alex Pagulayan, Santos Sambajon, Israel Rota, Jose `Amang’ Parica, Ronato `Volcano’ Alcano, and Carlo Biado.
Orcollo, the former world No. 1, took a bye in the first round, then routed Rory Hendrickson, 11-6, to set up a third-round encounter with Mark Gray of Great Britain.
Also taking a first round bye was Pagulayan, who proceeded to topple Danny Spell, 11-0, to arrange an all-Filipino match with Sambajon in the next round. Sambajon won over Adam Spell, 11-0, and Joe Brush, 11-3.
Rota subdued Randy Russel, 11-1, and Oliver Ortmann, 11-4, to advance to a showdown with John Morra of Canada; Parica downed Brett Stottlemyer, 11-1, and Jeff Clare, 11-4, and will meet Donny Mills of the USA next.
Alcano, on the other hand crushed Mike Delawder, 11-9, and Jason Michas, 11-6. He will face the survivor between Ko Pin-yi of Chinese-Taipei and David Alcaide of Spain.
After a first-round bye, Biado outclassed Chris Bartram, 11-6, and will play Tom D Alfonso of Italy next.
Warren Kiamco defeated Charles Hagan, 11-1, but lost to Tommy Kennedy, 7-11, while Ramon Mistica took a first-round bye and then lost to Nick van den berg of the Netherlands, 3-11.
Kiamco and Mistica now need to win their games in the loser's side to advance.